To Be Your First Choice For Banking, Insurance And Financial Planning Services

“To be your first choice for banking, insurance and financial planning services.”

The Integris Vision Statement begs the question: how do we become any person’s first choice, regardless of age? My answer: FUN!  As such, my project is to make “FUN” a major part of our corporate identity. By doing this successfully, I believe we can improve member growth and retention; increase member, staff, and community engagement; and, become a more attractive employer. While I identified attracting the younger demographic as the primary focus for my project in my nomination video, I believe focusing on FUN will attract all age groups.

Many of the initiatives I have pursued, and am pursuing, to make Integris FUN may sound silly at first; however, I believe they show we are not a stuffy financial institution. Instead, these initiatives reveal we are VERY willing to get involved and to be recognized as a FUNancial institution. In doing so, we are better able to differentiate ourselves and get noticed! 

Getting noticed helps to fulfill the intentions of our Vision Statement. How can we be a person’s first choice if it’s unclear who we are and what we’re about? Having a FUN presence in our communities and, consequently, becoming top-of-mind is certainly one way of becoming a member’s, or future member’s, first choice for our services.

While many of our “FUNtivities” target the younger demographic, I would argue they have a resounding impact on all demographics. I believe all people like to have FUN. Infusing FUN into the workplace and community events increases the energy level and engagement of staff dramatically. The direct beneficiaries of increased engagement are our members and future members of all ages. 

So, what have I been doing? Some of the FUN initiatives I have pursued include the creation of a humorous YouTube video series called Banks? No Thanks! The purpose of these videos is to educate the public about what a Credit Union is and what Integris offers in a FUN way.

Additionally, I volunteered to raise funds for the B.C. Children’s Hospital.  My idea was to reward fundraising efforts by staff with a public ‘Humbling Event’.  We set a goal of raising $2,500. I recruited colleagues to do a FUN, outrageous, and ‘humbling’ activity, as voted by Staff, at each $500 milestone.  For example, at $500, a co-worker and I dressed up like horses and sang/danced outside a branch; and, at $2,000, one of our managers dressed up and lip-synched Summer Nights from the movie Grease in a performance for one of our branches.  All of the milestones were documented on video so staff in all of our communities could share the FUN reward.  

Furthermore, in August, I helped Big Brothers Big Sisters Prince George (BBBSPG) generate awareness for their annual lemonade-stand fundraising competition, The Big Squeeze.  We created an intimidation video to ‘scare’ one of our competitors, a local rock radio station. We also went head-to-head with them on-air and pranked the station the day of the event. 

But... are we are having any measurable success? I’d say yes!

Our first Banks? No Thanks! video has nearly 3,800 views and won a Marketing Association for Credit Unions Award.  Also, our efforts to raise money for BCCH resulted in $10,000 raised, compared to less than $1000 raised in 2013.  Finally, with our help, BBBSPG raised $7,500, three times that of last year.  

Additionally, we were featured by Mike Kerr, Hall of Fame motivational speaker, in a video on his website called, “Laughing all the Way to the Credit Union”, because of our demonstrated success in synching work and FUN.   Being featured on his website shows we are getting FUN right!

Moreover, we attended our local university’s Commerce Student Society Business Dinner both this and last year.  This year, a student told me he and his friends asked to be at our table.  When I asked why, he responded: “Integris is the FUN table!”  We have come a long way in attracting young members and ensuring we have an engaged, value-aligned talent pool to draw from.  

Most importantly, our membership is growing! My project began January 1st, 2014, and our membership grew by 289 between then and June 30th.  During that same time-period in 2013, Integris’ membership decreased by 104 members.  Given our competitive market, I believe FUN played a role in this increase. 

So, what does your Credit Union do to make things FUN?  Let’s share our ideas and grow together!

C.U. Soon!

Alex Castley